Thursday, January 12, 2012


When I was in a primary school I became a member of a library. Not any library. That library was actually founded by my grand-grandfather. His picture had been hanging on one of its walls for many years until the library was renovated.

Just before Christmas I visited my recent library, and searched for a book in its database. I still don't know why I typed my grand-grandfather's name into a search box because I know that the books with his stories (yes, he was a writer, too) are stored in other libraries and not "mine". An address of a miscellany was written in the results. I borrowed this book, and with this a new story of one of my ancestors has been revealed to me.

It is interesting that my mom was always telling me that he was a great man, not my dad who was his grandchild. Yesterday I received this miscellany as a gift from a librarian who wrote the chapters about Matija, my grand-granddad. She said: "It is a pity that none of his descendants was aware of how important he was." Though, I am aware of this. I've loved books for as long as I can remember.

Well. Matija was important for Slovenian nation, for the education of Slovenian people because he did everything that this library was opened every day for everybody, supplying it with more and more books. But on the other hand he completely neglected his family. He actually worked in a bank but he spent every afternoon in a library. How can you have time for four children if you come home when they are already asleep?

Matija didn't finish his law studies because his family was obviously poor but he later worked in an office of Ivan Tavčar, one of the Slovenian writers. He had contacts with the writers of that time, that's why I think he also knew Janko Kersnik, the writer I was writing about in one of my previous posts.

So, he did a great work for the Slovenian nation and I am proud of him. I am proud of him because he was well aware how important was the care for a Slovenian language in those times when we didn't have our own country. He was also well aware that the education was crucial for the nation in such times. I just wish that he loved his family more. Our lives would be much nicer if he did.

p.s.: A photo I am posting is published in the book I received yesterday. By comparing family photos to this one I found out that behind my grand-granddad in this picture stands my granddad (my dad later confirmed this).


Meri M. said...

That is really something, to be the great-granddaughter of a man that founded the library...! I have only started your blog recently, so excuse my ignorance and my curiosity - I was just wondering whether your profession has anything to do with education...?

Yes, and I love your photos from the mountains. Sharing about one's passions (like hiking in the moutains) sometimes does provoke certain people's reactions you mentioned, I can relate to that. But who cares...! It just shows how narrow-minded people can be.

Emily said...

How wonderful to have such a person as an ancestor! He sounds like an amazing man. As to the more personal, family related issues, I have thought similar things about some of my relatives but I try to remember that, in many ways, they - like us - were products of their time and it's hard to hold them up to our standards.

Pina said...

@Meri M.: I am an economist by profession but luckily my present work is partly connected with the education (both - children and adults).
Btw, I would be glad to read more about three good things in your days. ;)

@Emily: You are right. I spoke about this yesterday with my dad. He just was like he was because he didn't want/need to be different (though, sometimes is just our laziness a cause for this).